Rupee strengthens marginally against US dollar at close
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Mumbai: The Indian rupee on Thursday strengthened marginally against the US dollar.
The home currency opened at 67.90 against the US dollar. Rupee closed at 67.83 a dollar, up 0.18% from its previous close of 67.95. So far this year, it fell 2.47%.
The Indian rupee traded at Rs72.6 against European euro and at Rs84.3 against the British pound.
India’s benchmark Sensex index closed at 26,227.62 points, down 0.27%, or 71.07 points from its previous close. So far this year, it has gained 0.42%.
Global broking firm HSBC has lowered its forecast for the rupee to 68.50 for the first quarter in 2017 from 66 a dollar. For 2017, HSBC predicted rupee will fall to 69.50 a dollar. A steep US yield curve should cause rupee to weaken but not aggressively, a Bloomberg report said.
The benchmark 10-year government bond yield closed at 6.42%—a level last seen on 21 May 2009, compared to Wednesday’s close of 6.445%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have sold $779.70 million in debt and bought $5.86 billion in equity till date this year.
Ringgit slumped after Bank Negara Malaysia said it would keep restricting avenues that support currency speculation. Other Asian currencies were trading mixed with Indonesian rupiah little changed before Bank Indonesia’s (BI) rate decision. BI will probably leave the policy rate unchanged at 4.75%, according to 17 of 20 economists surveyed by Bloomberg; three predict a 25 basis points cut. One basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.
Thai baht was up 0.19%, China renminbi 0.14%, Japanese yen 0.14% and Taiwan dollar 0.053%. However, Malaysian ringgit was down 1.019%, South Korean won 0.56%, Philippines peso 0.25%, Indonesian rupiah 0.209%.
The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 100.010, down 0.40% from its previous close of 100.41.